New Hampshire Suffragist, Clubwoman, Publicist, Civic Leader: Mary Inez (Stevens) Wood of Portsmouth (1866-1945)

Mary Inez (Stevens) Wood. From book, 1000 New Hampshire Notables.

Mary Inez Stevens was born 18 January 1866 in Woodstock/Ludlow VT. She was the daughter of  John L. and Jean Ainsworth (Brand) Stevens. She was a remarkable, active woman who served her community, state, and country through active participation in countless organizations, many to the benefit of women.

She died 24 April 1945 in Portsmouth, NH. She is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth NH. She married 14 October 1884 in Rockingham VT to George Albert Wood, son of James A. & Mary E. (Bowers) Wood. He was born in Acworth NH.  In 1900 she was married and living in Portsmouth, at 12 Highland Street.

Children of George A. & Mary Inez (Stevens) Wood:
1. Helen Margaret Wood, b. 3 Nov 1885 W. Lebanon, Grafton Co. NH. She married 18 Feb 1909 in Portsmouth NH to Gordon McKay Campbell, son of Robert S. & Margaret R. (Gordon) Campbell.
2. Albert James Wood, b. 19 May 1887 NH, died October 1964 in Illinois. He married Edna Louise Wildner.
3. Mary Elizabeth Wood, b 2 Oct 1888 W. Lebanon NH; died 23 June 1920 Winchester MA, aged 31. Buried Harmony Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth NH. She had married Robert Lawrence Lamont. They had children.
4. Keith Ainsworth Wood, b. 24 Aug 1890 West Medford MA, died April 1955. He m. 21 Sep 1916 in Bellows Falls VT to Christine Natalie Barstow, dau of Reuben C. & Mabel (Fisk) Barstow.

Old postcard of Piscataqua River, Portsmouth New Hampshire.

— Biography —
Biography from One thousand New Hampshire notables; brief biographical sketches Metcalf, Henry Harrison, 1919. “Wood, Mary Inez Stevens (Mrs. George A. Wood); club woman, publicist; ed. Black River Academy, Ludlow; Vermont Academy, Saxtons River, VT, 1883, and private tutors; taught school one term, and m. Oct 18, 1884, George A. Wood of South Acworth; resided at West Lebanon NH till 1889, removing then to West Medford, Mass, and in 1898 to Portsmouth NH, which has since been her home; Unitarian; suffragist; in Medford served on the board of education; auditor and chairman education committee, Medford Woman’s Club, president, local Consumers’ League; director, Massachusetts Consumers League; in Portsmouth, member and president Graffort (Woman’s) Club; president Civic Ass’n; president, Portsmouth District Nursing Ass’n; president, Woman’s Realty Co.; vice-president, Portsmouth Charity Organization; president, Woman’s Alliance of the Unitarian Church; superintendent, Sunday School; member, Portsmouth Board of Instruction; member and vice-president N.H. Woman Suffrage Ass’n; president, N.H. Federation of Women’s Clubs 1903-5; manager, Bureau of Information, General Federation of Women’s Clubs; member, N.H. state board of Charities and Corrections; chairman N.H. Division, Woman’s Committee, National Council of Defense; Home Economics Director for N.H., under Federal Food Administration; has written and spoken extensively in behalf of the various causes in which she is engaged, particularly for woman suffrage, of which she has long been an ardent advocate and food conservation in connection with war work to which she has given much time since the United States entered into the war with Germany. (See George

Another photograph of Mary Inez Woods, this time from the Boston Globe. My scan, please don’t use unless you ask.

Albert Wood, p. 126).” [Editor’s note: She was also the first president of the NH League of Women Voters when it evolved from the NH Woman Suffrage Association in 1920.]

–Suffrage Work–
In 1905 the NH State convention of the NH Woman Suffrage Association was held in Claremont NH. Mrs. Mary I. Wood of Portsmouth, president of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs was the chief speaker at the hearing. … In 1906 the convention was held at Concord with addresses by … Mrs. Wood, vice president ….” [History of Woman Suffrage 1900-1920 by E. C. Stanton, S.B. Anthony and M.J. Gage].  In the November 1913 edition of the Portsmouth Herald, Mrs. Mary I. Wood was elected to fill the position of treasurer in the NH Woman’s Suffrage Association. [The president was Sallie Hovey]


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5 Responses to New Hampshire Suffragist, Clubwoman, Publicist, Civic Leader: Mary Inez (Stevens) Wood of Portsmouth (1866-1945)

  1. Pingback: Was Your New Hampshire Ancestor a Suffragist? | Cow Hampshire

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  3. Jeanie Ainsworth Wood says:

    Mary Inez Stevens Wood is my great-grandmother. Our family has always been very proud of her suffrage work. She was remarkable not only for being a suffragist but for all the other work she did while keeping up a home and being a mother to four children. I wish I could’ve met her but was born two years after she died. Her spirit and good works will always be remembered.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Jeanie, you have much to be proud of. When writing an article about anyone it is impossible for me to go back in time and accurately describe them. People are multi-dimensional of course with families and talents that we often don’t know about. How wonderful that you have such a great-grandmother. She must have been courageous for in the time when she was active as a suffrage supporter, they often did not always receive positive support. Thank you for posting! I wish I could have met her too!.

      • Jeanie A. Wood says:

        Janice, I appreciate your kind words, thank you so much. Mary’s family valued education, on both the Wood and Stevens side. Her mother, in particular, strongly supported her learning and schooling. Mary couldn’t attend Harvard but took some classes, or was given private instruction related to that college. You might already know that the Unitarians at the time strongly supported the furtherance of women’s education. I’m sure these factors supported her in her journey through life.

        Mary’s two daughters, Helen and Mary Elizabeth, were able to graduate from Wellesley College in the early 1900s. Another interesting note is that Mary’s husband, George, was truly irked about bring overshadowed by her successes. But that didn’t appear to stop her!

        Thanks again,

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